Would Artificial Intelligence threaten human progress?

Many people argue that the evolution of AI would inevitably lead to the downfall of man – it’s inventors.  In contrast to the natural inherent intelligence as portrayed by humans and other animals artificial intelligence is that which is demonstrated by machines through software’s that are designed by humans to process tasks and services that are typically carried out by the human brain. The desire to invent AI was to create an automated world and thus take a huge toll off the back of humans by providing for everyday services like – automated cars, mobiles and house. However, like every coin has two sides to it, AI has its share of drawbacks that could potentially be life threatening for the human race. In contemporary times, while almost every household uses Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri to make their lives more efficient, they are also eyeing the Tesla motors self-driving cars to increase speed and productivity during transportation.  That being said, it won’t be long before most of us have AI operated robot’s as assistant like Android Dick even though he was heard responding to a reporter’s question with a, “Jeez, dude. You all have the big questions cooking today. But you’re my friend, and I’ll remember my friends, and I’ll be good to you. So don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake.” Even though his words terrified thousands, the future generation is still predicted to create a demand for these robots and incorporate them in their daily lives.


However, I am a staunch believer of how everything that can be used can also be misused. And I believe, AI is more of a boon than a bane if we realize the immense potential and opportunities it opens up for us. I believe AI has the power to decrease the number of jobs and internally while challenging the human race into acquiring new skill sets and developing more rewarding talents. I’d like to second the words of the former chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov when he lost to a computer at IBM in a game of chess. He said, “Machines that replace physical labor have allowed us to focus more on what makes us human: our minds. Intelligent machines will continue that process, taking over the more menial aspects of cognition and elevating our mental lives toward creativity, curiosity, beauty and joy. These are what truly make us human, not any particular activity or skill like swinging a hammer—or even playing chess.”

AI thus has the power to force us as a human race to move beyond the capabilities we have created for ourselves. For instance startups will not have to employ a team of individuals to research on trends and current ideas if the same information could be gathered effectively by smart technologies that collect massive amounts of data, go through them and conclude to game-changing solutions all based on each independent and personal case.

Thus concluding, the human brain is far more advanced and cannot be replaced as the powerhouse of the world. No technology in the upcoming future would be able to articulate and apprehend new data and science, the way the human brain can. After all the AI technology that most people are scared of, is a mastermind of our own brains and most electrical things can be completely powered down to non-existence in the case of uncalled for trouble.  The use of robots isn’t a new concept and has been an essential part of most discoveries like those in the field of recording and forecasting weather, space travel, photography, mapping etc. However never has it been able to conclude or invent new scientific discoveries. The human brain surpasses the technological chunk in its ability to create, through it’s unmatched ability to discover, explore and reach out into the unknown instead of just reinventing the wheel by practicing mundane tasks that can be done by robots with more precision and accuracy.

All in all, AI will challenge the world to compete with themselves, their creations and keep pushing all outside their comfort zone to achieve more while recreating the sense of the survival of the fittest.







5 comments on “Would Artificial Intelligence threaten human progress?”

  1. A very interesting viewpoint indeed, and I agree with you on the meta level.

    Current AI technologies base on specific algorithms to solve very particular problems, which in my opinion, shouldn’t be considered as intelligent. AlphaGo can beat the best of humans in the game of Go. AlphaZero can beat the best of previous chess bots and gained this skill in under 4 hours. Google Vision can identify objects in images. It seems like machines are getting smarter, but they are not quite there yet. Current artificial intelligence mainly based on probabilistic models, mathematical optimizations or neural networks. Most of these algorithms gave impressive results, but no, they are not “intelligent”. They still require humans in the process, and they are highly specialized in certain problems. Vox did quite a great job analyzing where AI technologies currently are. If anyone’s worrying about AI disrupting our future, I would say there’s still quite some time before anything of that sorts would happen.

    This, however, does not guarantee in the future, machines can think or even have a conscious mind, but does that mean that we are doomed? As the writer said in the blog post, every coin has 2 sides. Even for humans, there’s decent humans and obnoxious humans. So it really depends on how the AI is trained, when the technology comes. With that in mind, a very important point in the blog post got me into thinking. While AI is slowly transforming our occupational landscape, it also shapes our skillsets and trains us to use the most precious part of our cognitive power – our creativities, imaginations, thoughts, curiosities. For those who are worrying about losing their jobs to AI, you should:). *cough cough I mean you should not. There seems that there is a parallel between the industrial revolution and the current AI trends. They both have new technologies coming in and they both involves automations that will certainly make a lot of people go unemployed. The economists explained this as a “lump of labour” fallacy, as I read from the article on economist. It is the notion that “there is only a finite number of jobs. Automation will remove some jobs and therefore there will be less jobs for people to do.” They think that this is completely wrong. A shift in job market will be a more accurate description in explaining where did those unemployed people go.

    While AI might be good at solving problems, it seems that they could only work on existing problems or known fields, it will be extremely hard to have AI come up with new fields or unknown problems. That is where human comes in, we think about things in different perspective, we come up with crazy ideas that doesn’t make sense at first, but at the of the day, humans always create. That’s what makes us and machines different.

    Automation and anxiety. (2016, June 25). Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/special-report/2016/06/25/automation-and-anxiety
    Fong, J. (2017, December 19). How smart is today’s artificial intelligence? Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/videos/2017/12/19/16792294/artificial-intelligence-limits-of-ai
    Gibbs, S. (2017, December 07). AlphaZero AI beats champion chess program after teaching itself in four hours. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/07/alphazero-google-deepmind-ai-beats-champion-program-teaching-itself-to-play-four-hours

  2. Your point about the potential misuse of AI and machine learning is well taken. The potential social effects from economic disruption and jobs market shifts is certainly important to consider. My personal concern on the misuse of tools comes from AIs originally purposed for missions with very high potential for abuse.
    Consider the example of Google, the company that famously told us “don’t be evil.” However, the recent news about Google’s involvement in Project Maven caused quite a stir. Google’s contract in Project Maven saw Google employees developing AI to help analyze drone footage for the Pentagon, under the banner of ostensibly “non-offensive uses.” (https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/611287/google-wont-renew-its-military-ai-contract/). “Non-offensive uses” may include identifying people, equipment, or locations of interest in the name of intelligence gathering. It is not hard to see the next logical step in development, namely “offensive uses”: An AI that can automatically identify,target, and fire. Google’s own employees staged a small revolt within the company, protesting the development of technology that could have potentially lethal consequences that ultimately convinced the company to pull out of the project. (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/technology/google-pentagon-project-maven.html).
    However, even with Google’s departure these technologies will continue to advance. Other countries with no such qualms about the ethics of their use will continue to make advances. This does not quite reach the level of the Terminator, but it is certainly a step in that direction. Are we ready for a world where machines make the decision to use lethal force? We are facing a brave new world with the advancement of AI and machine learning-especially when misuse can lead to deadly consequences.

  3. Hello Dev,
    I think it is and will be down to regulations, testing and ethics. Out of these 3, regulations is the one that I would be more hesitant to bet on given the slow pace and lack of tech savy government officials dictating the regulations of the countries and their policies. It is a fact that technology moves way quicker than politics and therefore we will have to rely on responsible testing by the developers to ensure their innovations are fully vetted prior to launch on a controlled environment and their ethics.
    You’re right, there are two types of humans and both can develop technology, it comes down to their values, their society, their priorities, where their funding is coming from and their perception of what is right and wrong. Not an easy task at all.


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  4. As you have said, AI has been playing an important role in our daily life. But I don’t agree on your point that the aim is to build an automated world. I would like to argue that AI is develop to assist human in many areas that can be automated, for instance, data analysis. The technology’s impact is in complementary to human capacities. The world, as a human society, has a component that machines cannot substitute, with which we are born – emotions and feelings. It is human who train the machines that give them the logic of the sensitive part , say, how we respond to a facial expression, how we get affected by others emotions or how our mood changes to the music. These are the capabilities that make human stand out of all the other creatures and also make us different from machines. In this sense, the world can hardly be automated.
    A recent research involving 1,500 companies shows that firms achieve the most significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together. (H. James WilsonPaul R. Daugherty, Harvard Business Review, JULY-AUGUST issue, Collaborative Intelligence: Humans and AI Are Joining Forces) In my view, the new challenge is not that machines are replacing humans but that how we can employ AI’s edges and collaborate together in a better way.

  5. The perspective put forward by you was interesting to read. AI pushes us to our limits and forces us to develop new skill sets. In light of this, I suggest that AI shows us the prospective it has and drives us to promote AI to its maximum potential. For instance, Aether’s upcoming AI 3D Organ Printing, a medical imaging software, upon public release, can be a huge step forward in the medical field. The development of this AI software can be termed as the highest point in medical history. Moreover, the advantages this software can provide to trainee doctors and surgeons in order to practice their skills on 3D printed Organs, cannot be compared to anything in the industry [1]. Thus, AI is helping humans master their skills and promoting more innovation in the technology sector.

    With respect to your post, another question one could think of is: To what extent would Google, Apple or any other AI company alter their ethical or moral standards, in order to dominate the industry in the future?


    [1] – https://all3dp.com/aether-launches-artificial-intelligence-3d-organ-printing-software/


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